Throwing Bowls II

Il n'y a pas du bol
I want to be bowled over
The clay, the mud, the earth
I must knead it
To prepare it for the process
Like in life, I am lazy
In the selection and preparation
I plan to work it out on the wheel

The clay is my master
I am the clay
The wheel is our arena
My spiritual centeredness
Mirrored on the wheel
Everything builds on this
From here there is no recovery
There is only starting over

I open, my first impression
Get to the bottom of things
Put my foot down
The clay, the wheel and I
Argue over shape, over form
My vague notions shot down as impractical
My halting visions thrown out

A higher power decides
How the bowl will turn out
My job is just to do the work
I pull and pull
I must go all the way to the edge each time
Half-measures will not work here

How much slip and water to use?
Only I can decide
I try to get the curve of the bottom right
Is the foot thick enough?
Are the walls as thin as I want them?

The fear of overworking it wins out
I stop
I decide how to alter it
Decorate it
The dance is over
I cut it from the wheel
Each step has a beginning and an ending
Each time a new discovery

The bowls I threw
Now I trim to find out
How well I threw their feet the last time

A final touch, I wet my finger
And throw a smooth edge on the foot
I have given you all I can give
Next time we meet, glaze
And then at your graduation
The cone 10 kiln
You will be as you were meant to be
Not as I meant you to be

(4/3)  April is National Poetry Writing Month

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